Robert Atkins  

Autumn Legion by Robert Atkins

June 2020 - Autumn Legion

June 2020 - Robert Atkins

Original 1

June 2020 - Robert Atkins

Original 2

About the Image(s)

This image was captured in near Ouray, Colorado last fall. It was captured on 4x5 color negative film, drum scanned, and then edited in Photoshop.

What stopped me along the road was in part the gorgeous backlit aspens, glowing in the afternoon light. But what I liked even more was the contrast of the mass of shadowed trunks, standing solemn in ranks like an Army. It was that which led me to title it Autumn Legion. The image was captured in a single shot which was a challenge for both DOF and exposure, but the color negative film handled the later, and I ended up using a pretty small aperture “ something like f64 to get sharpness throughout. I’m sure I gave up something there, but expensive to focus stack in 4x5 film. The photoshop work was to bring back the contrast and vividness of the actual scene (it was a pretty flat scan), and to shape the light a bit in the undergrowth so as to direct viewers toward the more distant aspens on the left.

Once again, my challenge seems to be the crop. I was “done” with the image I labeled “pre-crop”, but have started to think the right side in that is just a distraction that pulls the eye out of the frame. What do folks think? Final crop? More like the “pre-crop”? Or something else? Any other changes you would make?

This round’s discussion is now closed!
6 comments posted

Gerard Blair
For me this is a beautiful image because of color and brightness of the fern carpet to complement smooth texture of the tree trunks - and I think your capture is unusual for this subject in that it features the two trunks as a solid, distinct foreground rather than relying on a mass of similar verticals. This seems to me to be a consequence of the clarity of the focus on these two in particular.

My view on the crop is that it is just off by a couple of mm on either side: the thin slivers of light on the right and left distract me - where-as I think a small adjustment turns the outer trunks into solid frames and so keeps my eye in the center.   Posted: 06/07/2020 09:15:17
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Robert Atkins   Robert Atkins
That is a good catch Gerard - I agree that I don't want want bright regions right on the edge. I was a bit too quick with the crop.   Posted: 06/13/2020 15:02:38

Cheryl LaLonde   Cheryl LaLonde
I am really drawn to this image. I love the autumn colors and the vertical tree trunks create symmetry. The crop on this one is challenging. So many tree trunks, my eye had difficulty finding one to focus on. I would adjust the crop to put the closest left tree trunk at the rule of third line and crop the left side although not quite as much as you did.

I would go a little further with the highlights and shadows to create more depth. I might have gone a little too far but you see what I mean.

I would also add a little more saturation in the oranges and yellows. I have attached a quick edit to show you what I mean.   Posted: 06/13/2020 11:18:57
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Robert Atkins   Robert Atkins
Thanks Cheryl. I was trying to direct the viewer back to the more distant aspens on the left as a group - sort of looking through/past the darker foreground trunks to create the depth you suggest. I will play around with going a little heavier with the contrast and saturation. The light shaping I did was also done for the wider crop and probably needs to be adjusted a bit.   Posted: 06/13/2020 15:09:38

Emily Kawasaki
I kind of like the "pre-crop" version personally. I think the trees on the right show another row/path, which creates a similar effect to when one view' the rows in a national cemetery (i.e. the illusion of seeing a "V" when you look down a row). I like the contrast between the gray-ish color of the trees and the bright yellow/orange of the grasses and the leaves. The gap between the colorful sections is also an interesting effect. Great shot!   Posted: 06/19/2020 16:25:44

Dale Yates   Dale Yates
Good comments and suggestions by all. First of all I love the title, which I think fits the image perfectly! In my opinion this photo has good detail and excellent DOF. I also like the light/shadow contrast. My only suggestion is perhaps a little more vibrance or color enhancement to bring out the color of the ground foliage. As far a the crop, in my opinion to basically align the crop to be more in line with your pre-crop photos. Excellent work!   Posted: 06/20/2020 08:37:28